Thème Scan - Marc Blondel

" Chemobiology at happy hour : yeast as an entry point for integrated approaches of human diseases "

Marc Blondel fait partie de l'équipe YMCD (Yeast Models for Chemobiological approaches of human Diseases) Inserm UMR 1078 ; Université de Bretagne occidentale, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé ; Etablissement français du sang (EFS) ; CHRU Brest, hôpital Morvan, Laboratoire de génétique moléculaire, 29200 Brest, France.
Contact : marc.blondel@univ-brest.fr
 
Résumé :
Since its discovery and description by Louis Pasteur, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which was used for thousands of years for alcoholic fermentation and as a leavening agent, has become a popular model system in biology. One of the reason for this popularity is the strong conservation from yeast to human of most of the pathways controlling cell growth and fate. Another reason is the tremendous number of technical and molecular tools when working with this simple eukaryote. In addition, at least 30% of human genes involved in diseases have a functional homolog in yeast. Hence, since 10 years, yeast has been widely used for modelling and deciphering physiopathological mechanisms as well as for developing pharmacological approaches like phenotype-based drug and gene screening. Importantly, if in all these integrated approaches yeast constitutes a convenient and versatile entry point, all the results obtained have to be validated ex vivo and in vivo in mammalian systems. Two examples of such yeast-based chemobiological studies will be presented: 1- a yeast-based model for the mechanism allowing immune evasion of tumour cells infected by the Epstein-Barr virus & 2- a yeast-based model for the intellectual deficiency linked to the Down syndrome (trisomy 21).